Nav: Home

UGR research calls current methods of studying photosynthesis into question

December 07, 2017

The current scientific assumption that the transport of gases between the surface and atmosphere is produced exclusively through diffusion is mistaken, according to research conducted by Prof. Andrew Kowalski of the UGR's Department of Applied Physics. His groundbreaking research describes how the flow of water vapour (which is not 100% diffusive), accounts for the greatest exchange of gases between the surface and the atmosphere, propelling a stream of air which originates in the surface. This discovery has important implications for fields such as biology and micrometeorology.

The new theory, which accounts for non-diffusive gas transport, is essential for calculating the water use efficiency of plants and the CO2 concentrations in their interior, a fundamental parameter when it comes to analysing photosynthesis. In the field of biology, research data related to the process of photosynthesis are altered by these variables. As Prof. Kowalski explains: "When we assume that the transport of all CO2 during photosynthesis is diffusive, we do not take into account the transport produced by the stream of air which is propelled by the water vapour emitted by plants. Therefore, photosynthesis is not being studied properly."

This discovery also affects micrometeorology, since some theories within this field, such as the Monin-Obukhov similarity theory, which links gas flow to concentration gradients, must be reviewed in order to take non-diffusive flows into account.

Prof. Andrew Kowalski's recently published his research findings in a paper entitled "The boundary condition for vertical velocity and its interdependence with surface gas exchange" in the prestigious international journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
-end-
Bibliographical reference:

Kowalski, A. S.: The boundary condition for vertical velocity and its interdependence with surface gas exchange, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 17, 8177-8187, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-8177-2017, 2017.

University of Granada

Related Photosynthesis Articles:

Scientists design molecular system for artificial photosynthesis
A molecular system for artificial photosynthesis is designed to mimic key functions of the photosynthetic center in green plants -- light absorption, charge separation, and catalysis -- to convert solar energy into chemical energy stored by hydrogen fuel.
Photosynthesis in the dark? Unraveling the mystery of algae evolution
Researchers compared the photosynthetic regulation in glaucophytes with that in cyanobacteria, to elucidate the changes caused by symbiosis in the interaction between photosynthetic electron transfer and other metabolic pathways.
Mechanism behind the electric charges generated by photosynthesis
Photosynthesis requires a mechanism to produce large amounts of chemical energy without losing the oxidative power needed to break down water.
Research shows global photosynthesis on the rise
Researchers found a global historic record by analyzing gases trapped in Antarctic snow to see the rapid rise in photosynthesis over the past 200 years.
Artificial photosynthesis steps into the light
Rice University leads a project to create an efficient, simple-to-manufacture oxygen-evolution catalyst that pairs well with semiconductors for advanced solar cells.
New study shines light on photosynthesis
Researchers have solved a longstanding mystery in photosynthesis, a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy into chemical energy.
Study: Viruses support photosynthesis in bacteria -- an evolutionary advantage?
Viruses propagate by infecting a host cell and reproducing inside.
Accelerated chlorophyll reaction in microdroplets to reveal secret of photosynthesis
The research team of DGIST's fellow Hong-Gil Nam, discovered the natural control of chlorophyll activity.
Mechanism for photosynthesis already existed in primeval microbe
A Japanese research team has discovered an evolutionary model for the biological function that creates CO2 from glucose in photosynthesis.
WSU researchers discover unique microbial photosynthesis
Researchers at Washington State University have discovered a new type of cooperative photosynthesis that could be used in engineering microbial communities for waste treatment and bioenergy production.

Related Photosynthesis Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...